Leica Ultra 8x32


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Brand and Model:Leica Ultra 8x32
Price ($USD):$1045.00
Attributes:checked Waterproof checked Armored
Objective Lens Size:32 mm
Magnification:8 x
Prism Type:Roof
Coatings:Phase Coated
Field of View:7.7 degrees
Eye Relief:0 mm
Near Focus:0 ft
Weight (lbs):22 oz.
Dimensions (w/h/d):
Description:

Vote Highlights Vote
Leica Ultra 8x32
Brightest of the Leica binoculars. Compact and light, but not as light as you would expect or might hope for its size. Sharpness falloff at the edges, but razor sharp, with great contrast and resolution, in the center and about 2/3 of the way out. Excellent where your attention focuses. Very portable, especially with the cordura case. Very well built; lifetime warranty; 3 year no fault warranty. Smooth focus that is lacking on too many Swarovskis and also on some Leica compacts. Terrific diopter adjustment system. Much brighter than the Leica 10x32s. BN model has slightly better near focus and new protection hard lens coating, but differences are really negligible and optical design is not otherwise improved. Near focus on the BAs is actually about 8.5 feet, closer than advertised. All around best in the 8x30-32 range, all things considered.

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10 Value:8
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Glasslover
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=59618


Leica Ultra 8x32
I owned a pair of these for over a year. The views were excellent for small to medium roof prism binoculars, and the design is equally good. The focus mechanism is quite smooth, the diopter adjustment is very well designed, and the overall build quality is very high. I did notice, however, that I too often found the eyepieces catching glare from the side or rear. I wish that manufacturers would adopt more sensible eyecup designs with an extension on the outside of each eyecup to shield from sidelighting.

Another thing that was particularly disappointing to me about the Leicas was that despite the price, chromatic aberration was not suppressed enough--I could still see color fringing on the edges of bright objects. Once you notice it you find it more frequently, and even when you don't see it, it's distorting the colors and clarity of the view. The chromatic aberration was certainly less than would be found on many other binoculars, but for the price it should be gone altogether.

Finally, one could do better than the Leicas at about 1/3 the price. The Swift Audubon 8.5x44 (the 820 model number) will exceed the optical performance of the Leica Ultras for only $250 or so. And if you're like me you could get the ED version of the Audubons for about $320 and never have to see yellow or green or purple fringes on bright objects again. The Nikon Superior E binoculars also better the Leicas for about $450 for the 8x32. I currently own the Nikon Superior E 8x32 binoculars, and the views have better color saturation than the Leicas (with the same amount of chromatic aberration). I don't notice as much eyepiece flare from sidelighting with the Nikons either.

The problem witht the Leicas and other expensive roof prism binoculars is that much of the cost of the optics is spent in trying to make a roof prism design (the nice looking straight lens barrels that you see on a lot of sleek and expensive binoculars) perform as well as a porro prism design (the L-shaped type of a classic looking binocular).

Swift and Nikon have realized that if you pay attention to good design and construction, a porro prism binocular can easily be made that will, at half the price or less, equal or better a roof prism design.

I sympathize with the reviewer who got slow service from Leica customer support and who found that quality control was surprizingly poor. In the past I've owned Leica camera equipment (M6, variety of new lenses) and also found that quality control was not what I would have expected. I had to return a camera body to the factory because the film advance was stiff and a part was missing from the film door, and I had to return two 90mm f/2.8 lenses due to bubbles in the coating.

My rating of 8 is based on performance alone. There are 9 and 10 binoculars out there if you know where to look. On optical performance for the price I would give the Ultras a 7 or maybe even 6 considering what can be had for much less.

Overall Rating: 8
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.210.79)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41482


Leica Ultra 8x32
Optically equal on center to Nikon (old style) 8x30E's, but just a bit softer at the edge. Easier to carry than the E's and more survivable day in, day out, in my shoulder bag - I quickly became nervous about subjecting the E's to my daily work activities afield, and the same would apply to hte Superior E's . Favorite feature, the split focus knob - with conventional right eyepiece correction, I'm always nudging the right eyepiece off focus with handling. Not so with the Leicas!

Got mine on eBay for $570. That helps the bang-for-the-buck equation somewhat.

Overall Rating: 9
Optics:9 Value:5
Weight: 4 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.174.205)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=64941


Leica Ultra 8x32
Bought them based on the Better View Desired review - for me, the size, armor, and waterproofing made them a better choice than the Superior E's. First roofs I've ever seen that could optically, on center at least, match good porro prism binocs. To be specific, they equal my old-style Nikon 8x30E's, which are very fine but I was never comfortable with as daily tote bag carry binocs. The Ultras are a bit soft at the edge and the color correction falls off, with a colored ring right at the edge of the FOV. One feature that beats any binocular(with one exception*), I've used is the split focusing mechanism. You slip back the rear half of the knob to unlock the right eyepiece focuser, set your correction, and slip it forward...your correction is _locked in_. One of the great annoyances of rotating right eyepiece correction for me is that they always drift with handling. Not so with the Leica!

Some day, I'll have to take a look thru some Superior E's to see what I'm
missing.

Ross Brunetti

* Some Minota 10x40 Mariners I bought back in the late 70's. They had a small wheel on the right barrel to perform the right focus correction. Survived many thousands of miles in a pack strapped to the seat of a motorcycle...but optically weren't even equal to a pair of Sears 10x50 porros of the same vintage.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 3 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.206.139)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41486


Leica Ultra 8x32
By day, optically excellent: fantastic color, contrast and on-axis resolution, falling off a bit toward the edges as you would expect, really not a problem. Large field of view. By night: noticeable chromatic abberation, internal reflections, flaring, ghost images, and reduced contrast, much more than should be, although some is unavoidable with roof prisms. (All of this is completely unnoticeable in daytime use.) I also have a 40-year-old pair of Leitz Trinovid 8x32s, which are superior to the Ultras in every way, mechanically and optically, except eye relief: the old Trinovids have essentially none. The Ultras have enough (barely) to see the full field of view while wearing glasses. The focus mechanism is a little scratchy in feel, with a very small amount of play. All things considered, score 9 by day, 7 by night.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Value:7
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.127.45)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=568700


Leica Ultra 8x32
A well made binocular with excellent optics but excessive chromatic aberration and not enough eye relief.

These binoculars are small and compact and relatively light at about 600g. They fit well in my hands. They have a metal frame with a hard polyurethane armouring that is okay to the touch but a bit hard. The focus and diopter wheels are both placed at the near end of the central hinge between the eyepieces. The focus wheel is smooth and well located. The diopter wheel has a clever locking mechanism to ensure that it will not accidentally move. The focus and diopter wheels are made from a hard plastic that has a rather cheap feel though they are well finished and should last. The strap lugs are thick wire hooks either side of the eye pieces. They are well placed and do not get in the way. The eye tubes pull out and push in and work well though they are rather hard - a trait shared with most other binoculars. The binoculars are water proof and nitrogen filled so they should not leak if dropped in a shallow stream or bog.

The optics are in general excellent with a wide field, excellent depth of field, and good colour rendition. Sharpness is excellent over most of the field though distortion and softness creep in at the edges. This should though not be significant. However chromatic aberration (CA) is not well controlled and in my opinion completely unacceptable. To give an example, observe a bird in a tree against a bright sky, and you will see obvious purple banding around the bird. All binoculars that I have used (including Nikon 8x42 HG and 8x32 HG, Zeiss 8x30 BGAT, Swarovski 8x30 SLC, Swarovski 8.5x42 EL, Steiner Rocky S8x42, Leica 8x42 BA) show varying amounts of CA. The Leica 8x32 have more CA than most binoculars and significantly more than the Zeiss 8x30 BGAT and Swarovski 8x30 SLC and 8.5x42 EL. Eye relief is on the short side at about 13mm and I cannot view the whole field without pressing the binoculars hard against my eye glasses.

The bonoculars come with an adequate rain guard, a really really lovely soft leather case that ooses quality, and - when I tried them a year or two ago - a rather poor strap. The latter is easily replaced for a few pounds.

Overall would I recommend these binoculars? Yes and no. You should try them out and see if the chromatic aberration and small eye relief are a problem. Note that some people see the chromatic aberration, some don't. It is there, but the way that you interpret a scene determines whether you notice it. People who do a lot of photography tend to see it as they have trained themselves to examine a scene objectively. (I should add that many famous birders use these binoculars and are delighted with them.) I would recommend you also take a look at the Zeiss 8x30 BGAT and Swarovski 8x30 SLC which have better optics and a similar build quality.

Overall Rating: 8
Optics:8 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.67.66)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=248086


Leica Ultra 8x32
les leica 8x32 et 10x32 sont les meilleures de leur catégorie. le piqué est au sommet, les couleurs sont magnifiquement restituée.L'optique est d'une transparance inégalée. leur construction est la plus solide qui existe à ce jour. Malgré leur 32 mm elles n'en demeurent pas moins trés contrastée dans l'obscurité. l'un des meilleurs choix pour une utilistation polyvalente. une seule remarque qui caractérise l'ensemble des produits de la marque : à ce niveau de prix leica pourrait proposer une optique aplanétique et ce serait Parfait ! Plus que Parfait !

Overall Rating: 10
Optics:10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.32.179)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=47433


Leica Ultra 8x32
I looked through these compared to the Sworovski 8x30's and thought they were better. I have been reading the reviews and wonder how anyone can think that Nikon compares to Lieca or Sworovski.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.217.83)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41485


Leica Ultra 8x32
There is no other binocular on Earth this small with so much optical performance.

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.105.152)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41483


Leica Ultra 8x32
Extremely bright. Images appear almost 3D

Overall Rating: 10
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.8.15)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=41481

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